With 40 per cent of home owners believing that the value of their properties will increase in value compared to 39 per cent in December.
First time buyers are most confident of making money on their property with 47 per cent of 20-29 year olds believing that their properties will continue to increase in value compared to 41 per cent in the 30-39 age group.
Andy Gray, head of mortgages at Barclays and The Woolwich, said: "We have started to see a slight increase in confidence as we move towards spring which is traditionally when people look to invest in a new property. It is reassuring to see that 75 per cent of home owners believe that the value of their property will remain the same or increase suggesting an element of stability is entering the market."
Scotland remains the most confident region although there has been a slight fall compared to the previous month. The biggest increases in confidence have been seen in Yorkshire and the East of England with an increase of six and seven per cent respectively.
REGIONAL BREAKDOWNS FOR JANUARY AND DECEMBER
% OF RESPONDENTS WHO THOUGHT THE VALUE OF THEIR HOUSE WOULD INCREASE OVER THE NEXT 12 MONTHS
January '05 December '04
SCOTLAND 50% 53%
NORTH EAST 39% 38%
NORTH WEST 42% 39%
YORKSHIRE 43% 37%
MIDLANDS 37% 36%
WALES 41% 39%
EAST 42% 35%
LONDON 36% 37%
SOUTH EAST 36% 37%
SOUTH WEST 39% 43%
Notes to editors:
The survey covers around 1,000 people per month aged over 20 years and figures are combined on a rolling three-month basis for each consumer confidence index release.
Consumer Confidence figures are combined on a rolling three-month basis to smooth monthly variations in confidence levels. However, as confidence levels are measured on a monthly basis these figures provide a useful indication on future trends in people's confidence.
Woolwich view on housing market
There is a general consensus that we will see some nominal price decline but it is difficult to pinpoint what that decline will be.
There is an enormous variety of forecasts currently in the market ranging from +5% from Nationwide to Deutsche Bank saying that prices may be overvalued by as much as 40%. In terms of predicting the future, as we have seen from the past, it is dangerous to pick one single number
Lower average loan to value ratios are likely to mean that negative equity will not be prevalent. In 1990 when house prices started to fall average LTVs for FTB were 95% today average LTVs are 88% for FTB (Source: CML).